Intelligent Design

At BigThink, an author tries to decide between science and pseudoscience

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Not easy because it depends on the judgment of “experts”. Here’s an excerpt from Princeton historian Michael D. Gordin’s book, On the Fringe: Where Science Meets Pseudoscience:

First, today’s science is adversarial. The way a scientist makes her reputation is by building on past findings, but if all she does is confirm what everyone already knew, her career stagnates. The pressures in scientific research are to do something new, and that usually means refuting a tenet of contemporary science. (We detect echoes of Karl Popper’s falsificationism.) Credit in science is allocated for priority (being first) and for being more correct than your competi- tors investigating the same questions. There will always be winners and losers. If the losers persist, they can and will get shunted to the fringe.

The second reason is that science is increasingly expensive. There are limited resources to go around, and there are always too many researchers chasing after coveted grants and high-profile publication opportunities. Within a climate of scarcity, adversarial norms necessarily generate both an incentive for winners to defend their gains and resentment from those who lost. Anyone who jeopardizes your research—say, by defending a fringe theory that contradicts it—may be seen as a threat. When nonmainstream doctrines pose a threat (real or imagined) to professional scientists, the term pseudoscience gets bandied about.

Michael D. Gordin, “What belongs in the “gray area” between science and pseudoscience?” at BigThink (December 27, 2021)

And then there is Big Science vs. COVID. Anyone care to discuss?

At which point, the defense rests.

43 Replies to “At BigThink, an author tries to decide between science and pseudoscience

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    This is broadly valid but gets the history wrong.

    Academia has always been orthodox. Federal funding and tenure have made the orthodoxy vastly more rigid and impenetrable, but there was never any premium on counter-orthodox results.

    The dictionary definition of pseudoscience is actually valid and permanent. If the observation or experimental result is “fragile”, depending on a highly specific and contrived setup, or if the observation is only seen by one scientist and not by others using the same methods, it’s dubious.

    The big powers ignore the dictionary definition and use the word to destroy what they don’t like right now. Most officially labeled “pseudosciences” have turned out to be valid after the orthodox generation died. We value the counter-orthodox in retrospect.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    And then there is Big Science vs. COVID. Anyone care to discuss?

    Denyse, you should read “The Clot Thickens”

    C19 is nothing compared to the heart/LDL fiasco. When there is $1 trillion dollars in statins and $1 trillion in low fat foods, you better believe the truth will not get out.

    How many know that women’s risk of heart disease goes down as their blood cholesterol goes up? Or that the LDL molecules could have nothing to do with heart disease?

    All rejected by the health experts because of the money in statins and low fat foods. So the pressure to do something new can only exists if there is not money involved.

    C19 vaccines are currently chump change compared to this but they are trying.

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    “The pressures in scientific research are to do something new”

    This may be true(in some cases), but when Big Money/Big Power wants more of the same party line Climate Change or Covid marketing with scientific trappings, guess what happens?

    Andrew

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    when Big Money/Big Power wants more of the same party line Climate Change or Covid marketing

    Actually clearer in heart research and the ignorance of findings.

  5. 5
    dogdoc says:

    In order to advance their careers, scientists do all sorts of things – leave out disconfirming data, explore multiple hypotheses with the same data, even falsify experimental results! In fact, the only thing that is less reliable than scientific conclusions are… non-scientific conclusions.

    We need to always work to make science better, but don’t forget that science is simply a set of rules, practices, and institutions intended to help keep people from publishing poorly supported results or outright cheating. The fact that it isn’t 100% effective doesn’t mean it doesn’t help, obviously, just as the fact that vaccines aren’t 100% safe or effective doesn’t mean they don’t help. Without academic and professional accreditations, peer review, replication, and so on, the search for knowledge would be a free-for-all, immensely more corrupt.

  6. 6
    asauber says:

    “In fact, the only thing that is less reliable than scientific conclusions are… non-scientific conclusions.”

    Dogdoc,

    A conclusion leapt to by a Scientist that is wrong is not reliable. <—–period

    Andrew

  7. 7
    dogdoc says:

    Andrew, the point is that scientific conclusions are wrong less often. Leaping to conclusions that are not checked by scientific practices and institutions is like playing tennis without a net.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    Dogdoc,

    I agree with you. I just want to emphasize that something presented as checked by scientific practices and institutions may not be scientifically checked, just stamped to make it look good.

    Andrew

  9. 9
    dogdoc says:

    Andrew, yes you are right – marketed “scientific” claims are so often BS. What I’ve noticed though, rummaging around this site and other forums, is a tendency to disparage “mainstream science” as though it’s the source of the problem rather than an (imperfect) bulwark against a completely open market of ideas that are truly, ridiculously wrong. I’m mainly talking about “alternative medicine”, another term for medicine that has simply never been tested for safety and efficacy. And it’s not a political thing at all – we’ve got pseudo- and anti-scientific nonsense coming from all over the political spectrum.

  10. 10
    ram says:

    Poll: what do you hope to gain by your participation on this site?

    Thanks

    –Ram

  11. 11
    JVL says:

    After almost a week I am still banned from commenting on a thread:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/if-math-is-a-reality-atheism-is-dead/

    I have tried many, many times from different computer and having logged out. Someone has chosen to lock me out of that thread. That is clear. There really is no denying it anymore. The thing the site moderators should ask is: who has chosen to do this and why? Is that the way you want the site run? Do you want me to be respectful and reply to those who asked me questions on another thread because I’ve been blocked on the thread the questions were asked? Do you really want people to ask someone like me a question and then not get a reply because someone has thought to block?

    Censorship from the people who claim they are censored is hypocritical.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Differentiating science from pseudoscience?

    Afters years of debating Darwinists, and Atheistic Naturalists in general, I have come to the firm conclusion that science, at least how they practice it, is broken, and they are the ones who have broken it.

    And the way that Darwinists, and Atheistic Naturalists in general, have broken science is that they have, basically, turned the inductive methodology of Francis Bacon on its head. Which is to say that they have, basically, turned the entire scientific method itself on its head.

    But first, to lay out the necessary, essential, Judeo-Christian presuppositions that lay behind the founding of modern science

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour
    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”
    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler
    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.”
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    Although the Judeo-Christian presuppositions of “The contingency of nature”, and “The intelligibility of nature”, are obviously necessary, even essential, presuppositions for the practice of modern science, (and although atheists illegitimately assume those Christian presuppositions without any philosophical basis within their naturalistic worldview for doing so, (Paul Davies, Nancy Pearcey)), I hold that the inductive methodology which Francis Bacon introduced, (via his Christian presupposition of man’s fallen nature, i.e. original sin, as a check and balance against “self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions”), is the main place where atheistic naturalists have, basically, turned the entire scientific method itself on its head, i.e. it is where they have ‘broken science’.

    Darwinists simply ignore inductive reasoning, especially when it conflicts with their a-priori assumption of atheistic naturalism.

    You see the ‘bottom up’ inductive reasoning which Francis Bacon championed, (where the premises of your argument are held provisionally, i.e. where one’s assumptions about the universe are held to be falsifiable by experimentation), is, practically speaking, a completely different form of reasoning than the ‘top down’ deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks in which they “pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”

    “The emergence of modern science was associated with a disdain for the rationalism of Greek philosophers who pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.”
    – Henry F. Schaefer III – Making Sense of Faith and Science – 23:30 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/C7Py_qeFW4s?t=1415

    Deductive vs. Inductive reasoning – top-down vs. bottom-up – graph
    https://i2.wp.com/images.slideplayer.com/28/9351128/slides/slide_2.jpg

    Inductive reasoning
    Excerpt: Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying some evidence, but not full assurance, of the truth of the conclusion.[1] It is also described as a method where one’s experiences and observations, including what are learned from others, are synthesized to come up with a general truth.[2] Many dictionaries define inductive reasoning as the derivation of general principles from specific observations (arguing from specific to general), although there are many inductive arguments that do not have that form.[3]
    Inductive reasoning is distinct from deductive reasoning. While, if the premises are correct, the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.[4]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning

    And the ‘bottom up’ inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, (a devout Christian), that lies at the basis of the scientific method has indeed been very, very, fruitful for man in gaining accurate knowledge of the universe in that repeated experiments lead to more “exacting, and illuminating”, conclusions than is possible with the quote-unquote, “educated guesses” that followed from Aristotle’s deductive form of reasoning.

    Francis Bacon, 1561–1626
    Excerpt: Called the father of empiricism, Sir Francis Bacon is credited with establishing and popularizing the “scientific method” of inquiry into natural phenomena. In stark contrast to deductive reasoning, which had dominated science since the days of Aristotle, Bacon introduced inductive methodology—testing and refining hypotheses by observing, measuring, and experimenting. An Aristotelian might logically deduce that water is necessary for life by arguing that its lack causes death. Aren’t deserts arid and lifeless? But that is really an educated guess, limited to the subjective experience of the observer and not based on any objective facts gathered about the observed. A Baconian would want to test the hypothesis by experimenting with water deprivation under different conditions, using various forms of life. The results of those experiments would lead to more exacting, and illuminating, conclusions about life’s dependency on water.
    https://lib-dbserver.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/bacon/bacon.html

    And again, atheistic naturalists, especially Darwinian atheists, have, basically, turned science itself on its head, i.e. have ‘broken science’, by forsaking the ‘bottom up’ inductive methodology of Francis Bacon.

    As Dr. Richard Nelson, in his book Darwin, Then and Now, noted, Charles Darwin, in his book ‘Origin of Species’, “selected the deductive method of reasoning – and abandoned the inductive method of reasoning.”

    Darwin Dilemma by Dr. Richard William Nelson
    The theory of biological evolution Charles Darwin argued for in the Origin of Species now presents a litany of problems for twenty-first-century evolution scientists – known as the Darwin Dilemma. The dilemma stems from the method of reasoning Darwin selected.
    Dilemma Origins: For investigating the laws of nature, Charles Darwin selected the deductive method of reasoning – and abandoned the inductive method of reasoning. The method of reasoning is critical when investigating the secrets of nature.
    Unlike deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning minimizes the dogma and bias of the investigator. Inductive reasoning is the defining element of what has become known as the scientific method. Details of Darwin’s reasoning method are discussed in Darwin, Then and Now.
    https://www.darwinthenandnow.com/darwin-dilemma/

    Likewise Richard Owen, in a review of Charles Darwin’s book shortly after it was published, had found that Charles Darwin, as far as inductive methodology itself was concerned, had failed to produce “inductive original research which might issue in throwing light on ‘that mystery of mysteries.’.

    Darwin on the Origin of Species (1860)
    Reviewed by Richard Owen for Edinburg Review
    Excerpt: The scientific world has looked forward with great interest to the facts which Mr. Darwin might finally deem adequate to the support of his theory on this supreme question in biology, and to the course of <b<inductive original research which might issue in throwing light on 'that mystery of mysteries.' But having now cited the chief, if not the whole, of the original observations adduced by its author in the volume now before us, our disappointment may be conceived.
    http://www.victorianweb.org/sc.....rigin.html

    In other words, Darwin had failed to produce any original experimental research that might support his theory for the “Origin of Species”.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    And on top of Richard Owen’s rather mild rebuke of Darwin for failing to use inductive methodology, Adam Sedgwick was nothing less than scathing of Darwin for deserting, “after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth – the true method of induction, and started us in machinery as wild, I think, as Bishop Wilkins’s locomotive that was to sail with us to the moon.”

    Adam Sedgwick also called Darwin out for being misleading in exactly what form of reasoning he was using in his book.

    Specifically, Adam Sedgwick scolded Darwin that “Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved, why then express them in the language and arrangement of philosophical induction?”

    From Adam Sedgwick – 24 November 1859 – Cambridge
    My dear Darwin,
    Excerpt: I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly, parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous. You have deserted – after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth – the true method of induction, and started us in machinery as wild, I think, as Bishop Wilkins’s locomotive that was to sail with us to the moon. Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved, why then express them in the language and arrangement of philosophical induction?-
    As to your grand principle – natural selection – what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts.”
    Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) – one of the founders of modern geology. – The Spectator, 1860
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    And it was not as if Charles Darwin was ignorant of the fact that he had failed to follow Bacon’s inductive methodology, or that he was being misleading, even deceptive, in exactly what form of reasoning he was using,

    Charles Darwin himself, two years prior to the publication of his book, confessed to a friend that “What you hint at generally is very very true, that my work will be grievously hypothetical & large parts by no means worthy of being called inductive; my commonest error being probably induction from too few facts.”

    Charles Darwin to Asa Gray – 29 November 1857
    My dear Gray,
    ,,, What you hint at generally is very very true, that my work will be grievously hypothetical & large parts by no means worthy of being called inductive; my commonest error being probably induction from too few facts.
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2176.xml

    In short, when Darwin published his book, and in regards to inductive reasoning itself, Darwin did not do, or have, any original experimental research that would actually establish his theory as being scientifically true. i.e. Darwin had failed to use the scientific method!

    As Neil Thomas recently noted in his article entitled “Darwinian Theory: Science or Speculative Philosophy?”, “Bottom line: Darwin did not have a single scrap of empirical fieldwork to document his conjectures.”

    Darwinian Theory: Science or Speculative Philosophy? – Neil Thomas – January 12, 2022
    Excerpt: Bottom line: Darwin did not have a single scrap of empirical fieldwork to document his conjectures. As Howard Gruber once put it in his special study of Darwin’s notebooks, “Darwin’s greatest works represent interpretative compilations of facts gathered by others.”2
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/darwinian-theory-science-or-speculative-philosophy/

    And over a century and a half later the situation still has not changed one iota. To this day, Darwinists still have no experimental research that would establish Darwin’s theory as being scientifically true.

    As Dr Richard Nelson also noted in his book Darwin, Then and Now, “After 150 years of research,,, the scientific evidence is clear: there are no “successive, slight” changes in the fossil record, embryology, molecular biology, or genetics to support Darwinism or neo-Darwinism.”

    Darwin, Then and Now – by Dr. Richard William Nelson – Book Preview
    Excerpt: as a theology graduate from Christ’s College, Darwin set out on a mission to discover the natural laws of evolution with a passion. Darwin Then and Now reveals how the emerging nineteenth century philosophies influenced Darwin to eventually abandon the Scientific Method. Darwin conceded that The Origin of Species was just “one long argument from the beginning to the end”—not a scientific treatise. DARWIN, THEN AND NOW highlights Darwin’s top 15 contradictions in arguing for natural selection.
    Just two years before the publication of The Origin of Species, in writing to a friend, Darwin confided, “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.” With more than 300 quotations from Darwin, DARWIN, THEN AND NOW is an exposé on what Darwin actually said concerning his “point of view” on the origin of species.
    After 150 years of research with more than 700 references from scientists, DARWIN, THEN AND NOW chronicles how the scientific evidence is clear: there are no “successive, slight” changes in the fossil record, embryology, molecular biology, or genetics to support Darwinism or neo-Darwinism. Even the popular twentieth-century Central Dogma theoretical mechanism of evolution has been abandoned. Today, a cohesive mechanism of evolution and evidence of a Tree of Life continues to remain as elusive as Darwin infamous drawing – “I Think.”
    https://www.darwinthenandnow.com/book-preview/

    In fact there are many lines of experimental evidence that, besides contradicting Darwin’s theory, directly falsify core presuppositions of Darwin’s theory. (And yet Darwinists, at least the ones I’ve dealt with, simply don’t care that their theory has been falsified in its core presuppositions time and time again, and continue to dogmatically believe Darwinian evolution to be true anyway)

    Dr. Cornelius Hunter has evaluated 22 specific predictions that are fundamental to Darwin’s theory and has found that when those specific predictions were tested and evaluated against the experimental evidence then those fundamental predictions of Darwin’s theory were found to be false.

    Darwin’s (failed) Predictions – Cornelius G. Hunter – 2015
    This paper evaluates 22 fundamental predictions of evolutionary theory from a wide range of different categories. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the nature of scientific predictions, and typical concerns evolutionists raise against investigating predictions of evolution. The paper next presents the individual predictions in seven categories: early evolution, evolutionary causes, molecular evolution, common descent, evolutionary phylogenies, evolutionary pathways, and behavior. Finally the conclusion summarizes these various predictions, their implications for evolution’s capacity to explain phenomena, and how they bear on evolutionist’s claims about their theory.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

    Why investigate evolution’s false predictions?
    Excerpt: It is not controversial that a great many predictions made by Darwin’s theory of evolution have been found to be false.,,,
    The predictions examined in this paper were selected according to several criteria. They cover a wide spectrum of evolutionary theory and are fundamental to the theory, reflecting major tenets of evolutionary thought. They were widely held by the consensus rather than reflecting one viewpoint of several competing viewpoints. Each prediction was a natural and fundamental expectation of the theory of evolution, and constituted mainstream evolutionary science. Furthermore, the selected predictions are not vague but rather are specific and can be objectively evaluated. They have been tested and evaluated and the outcome is not controversial or in question. And finally the predictions have implications for evolution’s (in)capacity to explain phenomena, as discussed in the conclusions.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/why-investigate-evolution-s-false-predictions

    And here is my own list of falsifications of core presuppositions of Darwin’s theory which Darwinists simply ignore, (a list which I have compiled after years of debating Darwinists):

    Darwinism vs. Falsification – list
    Excerpt: 1. Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are now found to be ‘directed’.

    2. Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    3. Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    4. Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    5. Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by the sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    6. Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    7. Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    8. Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as modern versions of it.”

    9. Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are certainly not explainable by ‘chance’ (nor is consciousness explainable by any possible reductive materialistic explanation in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    10. Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, ‘immaterial’ mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm that mathematics exists in. i.e. Darwinian evolution actually denies the objective reality of the one thing, i.e. mathematics, that it most needs in order to be considered scientific in the first place!

    11. Donald Hoffman has, via population genetics, shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Yet the scientific method itself is based on reliable observation. Moreover, Quantum Mechanics itself has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’ proves that our conscious observations are reliable!.

    12. The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information, via experimental realization of the “Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment, is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    13. Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract property of an immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution. i.e. Assuming reductive materialism and/or Naturalism as the starting philosophical position of science actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!

    14. Darwinists, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I6fT6ATY700Bsx2-JSFqL6l-rzXpMcZcZKZfYRS45h4/edit

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Since Darwinists, by and large and as far as I can tell, ignore the inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, (i.e. specifically ignoring the ‘principle of falsification’ by experimentation), that lies behind the scientific method itself, it is clear that Darwin’s theory is to be classified, far more, as being a pseudo-science, even as a religion for atheists, than it is to be classified as a hard and testable science.

    As Robert Marks and company have demonstrated, Darwinian evolution simply does not have a ‘hard core’ that can be tested,

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/

    Moreover, the main presupposition that Darwinian atheists simply refuse to ever let be challenged by experimental evidence is their main presupposition of Atheistic Naturalism itself.

    Yet, ironically, if, for the sake of argument, we falsely assume Atheistic Naturalism as being true, (as atheistic naturalists are intent on us doing), then that false presupposition of theirs leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of, not only of science itself, but also of our entire conception of reality itself.,

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    April 18, 2021 – Defense of each claim
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/philosopher-mary-midgeley-1919-2018-on-scientism/#comment-728595

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly, and falsely, believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    So thus in conclusion, and in short, Atheistic Naturalists in general, and Darwinian atheists in particular, have, basically, ‘broken science’ by forsaking the inductive methodology of Francis Bacon and insisting that their ‘deductive’ presupposition of Atheistic Naturalism cannot ever be challenged and/or overturned, by empirical evidence and/or observation.

    Yet again, and to repeat, It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    Science, at least how atheists practice it, is broken, and atheists are the one who have broken it, and to fix science, at least how they practice it, it is necessary to throw out none other than atheistic naturalism itself as a supposedly unquestionable (deductive) presupposition.

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  15. 15
    JVL says:

    Well, no surprise that no one cares at all that I have been blocked from commenting on a thread for no discernible reason. I have tried all the normal solutions and they didn’t work.

    Unless someone can show a clear and documentable cause why shouldn’t I assume it’s a case of censorship?

    I bet no one will even comment. No one cares. Figures.

  16. 16
    asauber says:

    “I bet no one will even comment. No one cares. Figures.”

    JVL,

    I’m commenting just to demonstrate how wrong you are again. 😉

    Andrew

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    Asauber: I’m commenting just to demonstrate how wrong you are again. ?

    And what are you going to do? Anything? Or just try and score points as usual?

  18. 18
    asauber says:

    “And what are you going to do? Anything? Or just try and score points as usual?”

    JVL,

    I’m going to entertain myself by exchanging some comments with you.

    Andrew

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    Asauber: I’m going to entertain myself by exchanging some comments with you.

    So, you agree with censorship?

  20. 20
    asauber says:

    “So, you agree with censorship?”

    JVL,

    I don’t. But I don’t know if this is a case of censorship, and I am just a commenter here, so I have no ability to do anything about it, if it is.

    Andrew

  21. 21
    JVL says:

    Asauber: I don’t. But I don’t know this is a case of censorship, and I am just a commenter here. so I have no ability to do anything about it, if it is.

    You could ask questions. You could try and see if it’s true. But you won’t because you don’t care.

    So, why should I care if ID proponents are shut out from commenting on unguided evolutionary blogs? I’m just a commenter, what can I do?

    Should any of us care or try and change things? Do you care? Will you make an attempt to change things?

  22. 22
    asauber says:

    “So, why should I care if ID proponents are shut out from commenting on unguided evolutionary blogs? I’m just a commenter, what can I do?”

    JVL,

    I’m not suggesting or demanding that you care about ID proponents commenting on blogs. I myself don’t care enough about them to complain, that’s for sure.

    You see, complaining to a brick wall is not productive. I’m much more interested in doing something constructive in realms where I can do something constructive.

    Engaging with you is sometimes constructive, therefore, here am I.

    Andrew

  23. 23
    JVL says:

    Asauber: ’m not suggesting or demanding that you care about ID proponents commenting on blogs. I myself don’t care enough about them to complain, that’s for sure.

    Okay.

    You see, complaining to a brick wall is not productive. I’m much more interested in doing something constructive in realms where I can do something constructive.

    Engaging with you is sometimes constructive, therefore, here am I.

    Okay. But checking to see if I’m being censored is not constructive? The people who replied to my posts not getting replies from me is okay? Stifling dialogue is fine with you?

    If you think engaging is sometimes constructive then you should support that happening and decry any hint of censorship. Yes?

  24. 24
    asauber says:

    “Okay. But checking to see if I’m being censored is not constructive? The people who replied to my posts not getting replies from me is okay? Stifling dialogue is fine with you?”

    JVL,

    I wouldn’t know who to check with, and I consider it too small of a problem on the scale of things to be concerned.

    Andrew

  25. 25
    Joe Schooner says:

    Well, no surprise that no one cares at all that I have been blocked from commenting on a thread for no discernible reason. I have tried all the normal solutions and they didn’t work.

    JVL, I honestly think that it is just a quirk with your computer and WordPress. I have been critical of KF’s nonsense for a couple months and I have never had a problem commenting.

  26. 26
    JVL says:

    Asauber: I wouldn’t know who to check with, and I consider it too small of a problem on the scale of things to be concerned.

    So, essentially, you just don’t care enough to do anything. Got it.

  27. 27
    JVL says:

    Joe Schooner: I honestly think that it is just a quirk with your computer and WordPress. I have been critical of KF’s nonsense for a couple months and I have never had a problem commenting.

    Well, how is it that I can’t post a comment to a particular thread after days and days but I can to other ones? I get a site-generated 403 error generated by a Word Press extension designed for security?

    Why is is wrong to query the site admins until they figure it out? Does it happen to you? Does it happen to you for days and days only on particular threads?

    I get that nobody really cares but how do you know it’s not censorship?

  28. 28
    Joe Schooner says:

    Authors of any OP can ban people posting on their threads. Is it always the same author on threads that you can’t post? Are his initials KF? ?

  29. 29
    Viola Lee says:

    JVL. I assume you have cleared your caches and tried different browsers?

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    JS, ad hominem nonsense showing malice. As has been long since advised, UD has not granted banning from a given thread by technical means. Technical bans are at site level, and are generally for cause of trollish, willfully insistent trollish conduct. KF

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, please recall my comments to you on peculiar cases on particular threads or even comments. WP is imperfect software and there are plug ins and other packages involved; we work with what we have and updates are notorious for breaking things, BTW as at yesterday yet another version increment was pending. Weird things can and do happen with software and especially when the software keeps on being updated from source. Were you actually banned, that would take effect site-wide. KF

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, given that he is convinced that his inability to comment on kf’s thread is not a bug with his system, comments for several posts now on how unfair it is that he is being, (supposedly), blocked from commenting on kf’s thread. He goes so far as to complain that ID proponents ‘just don’t care’ that he is supposedly being treated unfairly.

    But wait a cotton picking minute, JVL is a Darwinist. A dogmatic Darwinist at that. And as such JVL must hold that, (morally speaking), “some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.”

    In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    JVL adamantly wants justice, i.e. he adamantly wants ‘moral fairness’, yet JVL’s own Darwinian worldview affords him no such luxury as ‘moral fairness’. In fact, apparently unbeknownst to JVL, every time he himself cries ‘it is unfair’, he is in fact providing evidence for the existence objective morals and therefore providing evidence for the existence for God.

    As Dr. Craig put it, “Every time you say, “Hey, that’s not fair! That’s wrong; that’s an injustice! You affirm your belief in the existence of objective morals.” Yet “if God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.”

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.
    – The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=224

    Darwinian atheists, with their reductive materialistic framework, are forced to claim that objective morality doesn’t actually exist and that it is ‘nothing but’ an illusion,

    Why Alex Rosenberg — and a Number of Other Philosophers — Are Wrong Just about Everything:
    A Commentary on Scientistic Reductionism
    – Massimo Pigliucci – 2019
    Abstract
    There is a pernicious tendency these days among some philosophers to engage in a “nothing but” attitude about important questions. According to this attitude, consciousness, volition, reason, and morality are “illusions,” “nothing but” the epiphenomena of specific neural processes. Alex Rosenberg is a particularly good (though by no means the only) illustration of this problem,,,,
    https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JCH/article/view/18516

    Again, Darwinian atheists are forced to deny to reality of objective morality.

    And although there are a number of physical evidences that can be brought to bear on the fact that morality is objectively real, (I will hold off on listing the specific physical evidences right now), I find the fact that it is impossible for atheists themselves to live their lives as if objective morality does not actually exist to be one of the most powerful evidence for the existence of objective morality, and therefore to be another powerful evidence for the existence of God.

    As JVL’s own protestations of ‘moral unfairness’ make clear, it is impossible for atheists to consistently live their own lives as if objective morality does not actually exist.

    As the following article succinctly states the situation for atheists: “Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.”

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    And in the following article Nancy Pearcey quotes a professor emeritus at MIT who states that he does not treat his children as Darwinian ‘machines’ but instead treats them with “unconditional love”.

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    Even Richard Dawkins himself honestly admitted that it would be quote unquote ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if his atheistic materialism were actually true and as if there were no moral accountability for what people do.

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    This impossibility for atheists to live their lives consistently as if atheistic materialism is actually true is powerful evidence that the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution cannot possibly be true.

    Specifically, if it is impossible for you to live your life consistently as if atheistic materialism were actually true, then atheistic materialism cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but atheistic materialism must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    Verse:

    Romans 1:20
    For ever since the creation of the universe his invisible qualities — both his eternal power and his divine nature — have been clearly seen, because they can be understood from what he has made. Therefore, they have no excuse;

  33. 33
    jerry says:

    I find it ironic that someone who understands the mathematics of Einstein’s relativity is befuddled by a web browser?

  34. 34
    asauber says:

    JVL accused me of wanting to score points as my motivation for commenting here.

    I think repeated crying about censorship is an attempt at point-scoring for JVL.

    Andrew

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, just for record, I cannot ban you from my threads using some thread ban button that does not exist. I have not seen comments from you and invisibly removed them or whatever such a manually operated ban would look like. KF

  36. 36
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus, Asauber, Jerry, and Viola Lee: I am an experienced computer and web user; I have tried every means I can think of to make sure it’s not my system which is causing the problem. I just tried again, by the way, and more than a week after I first got stopped from posting on:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/if-math-is-a-reality-atheism-is-dead/

    I am still not allowed to post.

    Because I’ve tried different computers and different browsers it’s either because of my account or my domain/IP that is causing the issue. Here is part of the ‘error’ I get:

    A potentially unsafe operation has been detected in your request to this site
    Your access to this service has been limited. (HTTP response code 403)

    If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance.

    Clearly implying that the cause must be something the site owner can do something about. Hence I’ve been complaining in hope.

    Also, the particular WordPress plugin or extension that is generating this ‘error’ is called WordFence and quoting again from the error message:

    About Wordfence
    Wordfence is a security plugin installed on over 4 million WordPress sites. The owner of this site is using Wordfence to manage access to their site.
    You can also read the documentation to learn about Wordfence’s blocking tools, or visit wordfence.com to learn more about Wordfence.

    Again, the clear inference is that the site owner can do something about the situation.

    From the website wordfence.com:

    Advance Manual Blocking: Quickly and efficiently block entire malicious networks and any human or robot activity that indicates suspicious intentions based on pattern matching and IP ranges

    So, it is possible to configure WordFence to block human activity. Like posting? From a particular IP?

    I am quite sure that Kairosfocus is being completely honest and sincere; I am quite familiar with the ways he handles situations he finds disruptive or counterproductive (having crossed his lines a few times in the past) so I know he has nothing to apologise for. In fact, I give him credit for taking the time to respond.

    Perhaps it’s just my IP but then why aren’t I blocked site-wide? If it’s my browser then, again, why isn’t the problem site-wide?

    If the problem is coming from WordFence, as seems clear, then perhaps it would be good for the person who actually maintains the site via WordPress (through a browser or an app, I’ve done both) to look at the WordFence settings and see why such a thing is happening, why for some people but not others and, in my case, only on one thread.

    If it’s an error then it could happen to anyone and should be corrected. I would think someone would want to look into that.

  37. 37
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    Kairosfocus, Asauber, Jerry, and Viola Lee: I am an experienced computer and web user;

    You forgot to mention about experienced troll.

  38. 38
    AndyClue says:

    @JVL: In order to find out whether the problem is due to your IP address, you could use the Tor browser or a VPN.

  39. 39
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77 @ 32

    As Dr. Craig put it, “Every time you say, “Hey, that’s not fair! That’s wrong; that’s an injustice! You affirm your belief in the existence of objective morals.” Yet “if God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.”
    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

    This is one of Craig’s most misleading sophistries. Craig knows full well that objective morality is not sourced in “God.” Thus premise (1) is not true. It would take me a while to find it, but a few years back, Craig ran a post on his blog showing that he understands the distinction between absolute morality and objective morality. This first is “God-given,” the second is a human construction that has evolved as human cultures have evolved.
    Craig says he eschews the more proper term “absolute morality” because it causes confusion with the terms “objective,” “relative” and “subjective” morality. This is a dodge, but that is for another debate.
    God’s or absolute morality is (1) universal, (2) imposed by divine fiat, (3) non-negotiable and (4) applied without exceptions, in other words absolute. (Duh…)
    On the other hand, objective morality is (1) culture specific, (2) imposed either explicitly or implicitly, by human authorities, such as kings, churches, despots, legislatures, direct democracy, etc. (3) subject to compromise, or, in extreme cases, displacement through revolt and (4) subject to mitigation in appropriate cases.
    Christian apologetics is stuck in this quagmire, and it is really getting annoying watching the enterprise hopelessly spinning its wheels throwing around inane bromides dressed up as syllogisms.

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Chuck Darwin, you are, as usual, wrong. Morality is objectively real, not subjective, illusory, and/or manmade as you hold. For one example out of many, the way your own genetic responses have been designed by God to subtly differentiate between ‘hedonic’ moral happiness and ‘noble’ moral happiness testifies to the objective reality of morality.

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    Of course ChuckyD, to refute the claim that God designed our genetic responses to subtly differentiate between ‘hedonic’ moral happiness and ‘noble’ moral happiness you could simply demonstrate that Darwinian processes have the capacity within themself to create, say, a single gene and/or protein. But alas, no such demonstration seems to ever be forthcoming for you.

    “Enzyme Families — Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – December 4, 2014
    Excerpt: If enzymes can’t be recruited to genuinely new functions by unguided means, no matter how similar they are, the evolutionary story is false.,,,
    Taken together, since we found no enzyme that was within one mutation of cooption, the total number of mutations needed is at least four: one for duplication, one for over-production, and two or more single base changes. The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91701.html

    Right of Reply: Our Response to Jerry Coyne – September 29, 2019
    by Günter Bechly, Brian Miller and David Berlinski
    Excerpt: David Gelernter observed that amino acid sequences that correspond to functional proteins are remarkably rare among the “space” of all possible combinations of amino acid sequences of a given length. Protein scientists call this set of all possible amino acid sequences or combinations “amino acid sequence space” or “combinatorial sequence space.” Gelernter made reference to this concept in his review of Meyer and Berlinski’s books. He also referenced the careful experimental work by Douglas Axe who used a technique known as site-directed mutagenesis to assess the rarity of protein folds in sequence space while he was working at Cambridge University from 1990-2003. Axe showed that the ratio of sequences in sequence space that will produce protein folds to sequences that won’t is prohibitively and vanishingly small. Indeed, in an authoritative paper published in the Journal of Molecular Biology Axe estimated that ratio at 1 in 10^74. From that information about the rarity of protein folds in sequence space, Gelernter—like Axe, Meyer and Berlinski—has drawn the rational conclusion: finding a novel protein fold by a random search is implausible in the extreme.
    Not so, Coyne argued. Proteins do not evolve from random sequences. They evolve by means of gene duplication. By starting from an established protein structure, protein evolution had a head start.
    This is not an irrational position, but it is anachronistic.
    Indeed, Harvard mathematical biologist Martin Nowak has shown that random searches in sequence space that start from known functional sequences are no more likely to enter regions in sequence space with new protein folds than searches that start from random sequences. The reason for this is clear: random searches are overwhelmingly more likely to go off into a non-folding, non-functional abyss than they are to find a novel protein fold. Why? Because such novel folds are so extraordinarily rare in sequence space. Moreover, as Meyer explained in Darwin’s Doubt, as mutations accumulate in functional sequences, they will inevitably destroy function long before they stumble across a new protein fold. Again, this follows from the extreme rarity (as well as the isolation) of protein folds in sequence space.
    Recent work by Weizmann Institute protein scientist Dan Tawfik has reinforced this conclusion. Tawfik’s work shows that as mutations to functional protein sequences accumulate, the folds of those proteins become progressively more thermodynamically and structurally unstable. Typically, 15 or fewer mutations will completely destroy the stability of known protein folds of average size. Yet, generating (or finding) a new protein fold requires far more amino acid sequence changes than that. Finally, calculations based on Tawfik’s work confirm and extend the applicability of Axe’s original measure of the rarity of protein folds. These calculations confirm that the measure of rarity that Axe determined for the protein he studied is actually representative of the rarity for large classes of other globular proteins. Not surprisingly, Dan Tawfik has described the origination of a truly novel protein or fold as “something like close to a miracle.” Tawfik is on Coyne’s side: He is mainstream.
    https://quillette.com/2019/09/29/right-of-reply-our-response-to-jerry-coyne/

    Dan S. Tawfik Group – The New View of Proteins – Tyler Hampton – 2016
    Excerpt: Tawfik soberly recognizes the problem. The appearance of early protein families, he has remarked, is “something like close to a miracle.”45,,,
    To the extent that Tawfik’s selection experiments were successful, it is because mutations were localized and contextualized. Mutation had a key but confined role. If evolution proceeded, the prevailing architecture of the active sites and protein shapes nonetheless remains intact. Changes were not to central structures, but to peripheral loops. A great deal of flexibility was discovered. Still, it is hard to see how any of this could build proteins—that is, in the sense of building their fundamental shapes, or scaffolds; and build proteins in terms of explaining the key catalytic strategies of each active site. Even in the impressive demonstration of a transition through nine orders of magnitude, in which a full exchange of a promiscuous activity for the primary activity was seen, the overall geometry of the protein was unchanged, and, although substrates had changed, the fundamental active site strategy stayed the same. ,,,
    “Modern neo-Darwinism and neutral evolutionary treatments,” remark Leonard Bogarad and Michael Deem, “fail to explain satisfactorily the generation of the diversity of life found on our planet.” It is not that they did not evolve, they say, but that “… most theoretical treatments of evolution consider only the limited point-mutation events that form the basis of these theories.” Their sober conclusion is that “point mutation alone is incapable of evolving systems with substantially new protein folds.”60,,,
    “In fact, to our knowledge,” Tawfik and Tóth-Petróczy write, “no macromutations … that gave birth to novel proteins have yet been identified.”69
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....f-proteins

    Chase Nelson At Inference Review: Reconstructing Ancestral Proteins – August 13, 2021
    Excerpt: The deepest questions about the origins of novel gene families remain shrouded in mystery.
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/chase-nelson-at-inference-review-reconstructing-ancestral-proteins/

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you have probably persuaded WordFence’s algorithms you are some sort of spammer or the like; you managed to fit some profile. WF has locked me up on individual threads before. I don’t know if in doing so it locked up the whole local zone! KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, there is a discussion in progress, I will cross-thread a clip I got from the late Professor Dallas Willard’s video presentation I just found, on disappearance of moral knowledge:

    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/lfp-48a-is-the-denial-of-objective-moral-truth-an-implicit-truth-claim-about-duty-to-right-conduct-etc-thus-subject-to-reductio/#comment-744907

    (1). What is the disappearance of moral knowledge? It is the social reality that the
    knowledge institutions (primarily the universities, but also the “churches”) of our society
    do not presume to offer knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice to
    the public. It is not a part of “testable” cognitive content of any recognized area of
    scholarship or practice. (The illusion of professional “ethics.”)

    What is knowledge and what does it do? Knowledge is the capacity to represent
    something as it is, on an appropriate basis of thought and experience. It and it alone
    confers the right and perhaps the responsibility to act, direct action, formulate policy and
    supervise its implementation, and teach. This helps us see what disappears along with
    “moral knowledge.”

    (2). How did this disappearance come to be the case?

    Not through a discovery of some kind: e.g. that there was no such knowledge.

    But through a lengthy historical process of idea change. Some components:

    (A). The dismissal of theology from the domain of knowledge [i.e. the study and systematic knowledge of God, cf Rom 1:28 – 32], and the failure to
    find a secular basis for ethics [–> how can evolutionary materialism found ethics?].
    (B). Disappearance of the human self and knowledge of the self from
    “respectable” knowledge. (The “soul” from Plato on.) [–> the self-moved, rational, responsible, conscience guided significantly free agent]
    (C). All cultures come to be regarded as “equal.” None are morally inferior [–> diversity and radical tolerance]. Just “different.” Then there is no moral truth of the matter across cultures. [–> the denial of warranted, generally knowable objective truth on duty to right conduct, virtue etc; which cf OP has been shown to be self referentially incoherent so false]
    (D). Moral distinctions and standards viewed as power plays. (Nietzsche, Marx,
    Freud) [–> might makes right]
    (E). Fear or resentment of knowledge itself as oppressive. Colonialism. [–> linked disappearing of logic and truth backed by warrant so of knowledge]
    (F). Growth of the idea that it is always wrong to make moral judgments: that
    only bad or disgusting people do that. [–> the test case of a kidnapped, sexually tortured, murdered child] Pushes moral judgments out of the public domain. [–> marginalisation]
    (G). The failure in Philosophy to recover moral knowledge. [–> institutional failure, the mutiny on the good ship civilisation issue]

    And BTW, WLC is pointing out precisely the branch on which we all sit inescapability of Ciceronian first duties of reason, even when we have managed to culturally marginalise the underlying warrant and knowledge base. Something I have been pointing out for months only to meet the sort of rhetorical flak that says we are over a sensitive, high value target.

    KF

    PS: The Ciceronian first duties:

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, BTW, CD, our moral knowledge will be OBJECTIVE by and large as we are error prone so need to seek warrant to arrive at reliable results, but warrant seldom delivers utter certainty beyond correction. The lurking Euthyphro dilemma in your comment runs into the gap between pagan supermen gods and the necessary, maximally great, inherently good and utterly wise root of reality and creator of ethical theism. God commends and commands the right as he is good and wise, where as wisdom can be communicated to creatures in his image, even in tiny part, the goodness can be in material part intelligible and seen to be warranted; save to those too locked into errors, rage, resentment, lusts and benumbing of moral sense to acknowledge it. Where, part of our endowment, conscience, cannot be implicitly marginalised as suspect of delusion, as conscience being pervasive that would carry our whole self aware, intelligent inner life under the taint of grand delusion. More can be said, this is enough to provoke reflective thought.

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